Will I lose all of my property or possessions if I file for bankruptcy?
There are two main Chapters of bankruptcy that consumers file for: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If eligible for
Chapter 7, you will file with the bankruptcy court, and a court trustee will be appointed to your case. The trustee will assess your finances and determine your non-exempt assets. These assets will then be liquidated to help repay your creditors, and once all funds are distributed to your creditors by the trustee, you will receive a fresh start and be discharged from many of your remaining debts.
If you do not want to risk any of your assets when filing for bankruptcy, Chapter 13 may be the right fit for your situation. While Chapter 7 uses the liquidation of certain assets to repay creditors, Chapter 13 does not use any form of liquidation. In this Chapter of bankruptcy, your attorney will work with the court and your creditors to create a plan that will allow you to pay off your debts over a three to five year period. The plan uses more affordable payments, and in many cases, the debtor does not have to pay off the total of the balance owed. Rather than making a number of costly payments to each of the creditors, you will only have to make one manageable payment per month.
This Chapter often has far less of an impact upon credit than filing for Chapter 7, and it will allow you to take back control of your finances and finally find freedom from debt and creditor harassment. Although Chapter 13 is not a quick solution, it allows you to address your debt at a reasonable pace while protecting the possessions that are most precious to you and your family.
Before filing, it is important to understand the process and payments you will be responsible to make, so you should discuss your specific circumstances with an attorney to determine the best option for your family.
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